A university town, Santa Cruz is a popular weekend spot with students taking a well-deserved break here, but the laid-back locals also make it a memorable destination. Several nearby beaches have often been referred to as the finest in the Western Hemisphere — how's that for a reason to visit? Book your Santa Cruz vacation rental for a date in paradise!
Choose the perfect vacation rental
Sun, surf and sand await at your Santa Cruz vacation rental
Best Vacation Home Deals Santa Cruz
Explore the 710 accommodations featured in Santa Cruz and discover a wonderful place for your vacation. HomeToGo instantaneously highlights the best offers by comparing all of the available vacation homes in Santa Cruz from its various partners.
Top-Rated Offers and Accommodations Santa Cruz
Recommended Vacation Rentals Santa Cruz
Find your perfect vacation rental Santa Cruz: from $164 per night
Budget-friendly Rentals Santa Cruz
Apartments and vacation rentals with a kitchen
Cook up a feast on your next vacation and book a Santa Cruz rental with full kitchen.
Apartments with a balcony or patio
Looking for a home with a balcony? Check out these vacation homes Santa Cruz with their own private patios and balconies.
Vacation homes and cottages with a garden
Looking for vacation homes with a little extra outdoor space? Check out these accommodations Santa Cruz with private yards.
Popular Rental Amenities Santa Cruz
Nearly half of the accommodations provide a pool, which makes Santa Cruz an excellent destination for people looking to spend vacation poolside. Interestingly, our data shows that more hotel rooms offer a pool than motel. Also, they can host 5 vacationers, on average, while motel with pools can welcome an average of 6 people. Among these rentals, 78 of them are situated within 2 kilometres of water.
The Weather Santa Cruz
The above is a climate diagram for Santa Cruz. September is the warmest month of the year Santa Cruz with temperatures reaching a maximum average of 25°. On the other hand, you could have temperatures dropping under 3° in January. March is the wettest month.
7-Day Weather Forecast Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz offers visitors a range of international cuisines to choose from. While here, profit from the ocean-front restaurants and lounge bars that offer prolific coastal views. Santa Cruz's laid-back vibes are best-experienced at the Asian Rose Cafe which serves vegan, Californian and Sri Lankan cuisine. For Thai-Vietnamese fusion under ambient lamps and shimmery lights, Charlie Hong Kong awaits. El Palomar and Jalapeños Taqueria dish out Mexican staples such as tortillas and tacos with finesse. Or you can pick up Chinese takeaway for later at your Santa Cruz vacation rentals.
For a fun night out, Pacific Avenue in Downtown Santa Cruz is the place to go; this stretch has a number of bars and clubs.
A good time to visit
Summer is the undisputed peak season, meaning you'll need to book your Santa Cruz vacation rental well in advance. Winter is a nicer time to visit and have the beach to yourself, as it never really gets cold here. Moreover, you're assured discounts on your Santa Cruz vacation homes, not to mention peace and quiet. The shoulder seasons of spring and autumn when colors change are recommended for nature lovers.
Things to do and see
The pedestrian-friendly downtown strip enjoys its proximity to the beach, and is perfect for a family stroll after dusk. Downtown Santa Cruz regales with its people-watching opportunities, restaurants with global cuisine, cool indie shops and clubs. The city's star attraction is the Beach Boardwalk, which is the only original boardwalk amusement park still in use on the West Coast. Municipal Wharf meanwhile is a great viewing point for the sea lions and pelicans. During winter, stop by Steamers Lane and watch the surfers and sea lions doing their bit to impress cheering onlookers.
Popular with tourists, the Mystery Spot is a visual illusion–based attraction that calls itself a 'gravitational anomaly' for the strange phenomena that take place here. See for yourselves and decide! A hike up to the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) will fetch you stunning bay views, redwood forests and the UCSC Arboretum. Rejuvenate at the clothing-optional family spa Kiva Retreat House, and unwind in your Santa Cruz vacation homes.
Art and culture
For a lowdown on the surfing culture from 1885 until the present day, come visit the Surfing Museum. For families, the Seymour Marine Discovery Center beckons with its native aquatic species in glass tanks, the dolphin-sighting area and terrific views of Monterey Bay after dusk.
Classic rock fans should check out the Grateful Dead Exhibit, which comprises an impressive collection of memorabilia and artifacts from the group. Jazz, bluegrass, folk, Celtic and world music enthusiasts should catch a gig at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center.
The kids will love the Delaveaga Disk Golf Course, which offers free entry and superb views. Next is the oldest state park in California, Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Año Nuevo State Park is home to one of the highest populations of elephant seals. The Natural Bridges State Beach thrills with its monarch butterflies and windsurfing opportunities, while the heavily-forested Henry Cowell State Park boasts the San Lorenzo River that flows through it.
Watersports enthusiasts should definitely indulge in some surfing, sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding in Santa Cruz. Mountain biking is a popular activity in the Santa Cruz mountains — note that some inclines can get steep.
The Santa Cruz Blues Festival in May attracts crowds from all over the state for its impressive lineup. Every fall, artists open their studios for a few weeks to the general public as part of the 'Open Studios Art Tour'.
Discover all aspects of surf culture at the Santa Cruz Surf Film Festival held each September. Every Sunday, all year round, salsa enthusiasts dance up a storm at the boardwalk with Salsa By The Sea.
It is easy to see how Santa Cruz welcomes those of all tastes and sensibilities. Book your Santa Cruz vacation rental and gear up for a fun vacation.
Creating memories in Santa Cruz
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center
Overlooking the ocean, this hyper-modern building houses an exciting interactive marine animal sanctuary. Exploring the exhibits and marine inhabitants is rewarding for the whole family.
Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Make friends with a shark, learn about what scientists do, and enjoy views of the famous Monterey Bay at this center which is part of the University of California.
A supposed gravitational anomaly, this area has seen strange things happening ever since there have been people to observe them. Visit for quirky visual illusions and lots of fun.
Santa Cruz Wharf
Head to this lively wharf for great shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. It's also the starting point for various water sports and boat tours.
Natural Bridges State Beach
Monarch butterflies flood this stunning beach from the end of October until January. It's a natural wonder that the family won't forget in a hurry.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the typical price of a vacation home Santa Cruz?
The starting price for Bed & Breakfast rentals or Apartment rentals Santa Cruz is $164 per night.
What is the typical availability of Bed & Breakfast rentals Santa Cruz?
January has the highest availability of Bed & Breakfast rentals Santa Cruz, so you can expect plenty of selection, even for last-minute bookings.
What are the most popular vacation home amenities Santa Cruz?
The most popular amenities for rentals Santa Cruz include vacation homes with Internet, TV, or Pool.
How many Bed & Breakfast rentals and Apartment rentals can I find Santa Cruz?
Santa Cruz has 703 Bed & Breakfast rentals and Apartment rentals available to book.
Are there pet-friendly vacation rentals Santa Cruz?
If you're travelling with a dog, over 9% of vacation rentals Santa Cruz are pet-friendly.
What's the best month to visit Santa Cruz?
When booking accommodation Santa Cruz, remember that the rainiest months are usually March and December, with June often being the sunniest.
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